Short Story Review: The 1st Victim by Tami Hoag

May 25, 2013 5 stars, Book Review 0 ★★★★★

Pabkin’s One Liner: Murder most foul! An excellent short for murder mystery fans!


Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska return to investigate the death of a Jane Doe in New York Times bestseller Tami Hoag’s short story The 1st Victim.

New Year’s Day is a time for new beginnings, but Minneapolis homicide detectives Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska are focused on endings: specifically, the tragic end of their latest murder victim, an unidentified young woman discovered on the side of the freeway. Believed to be the victim of a serial killer, Kovac and Liska are determined to do the girl the small justice of returning her body to her family as they investigate her case, but it is no simple task matching the broken corpse to any of the scores of missing persons reports, especially when no one seems to be looking for her.

Meanwhile, recent widow Jeannie Reiser is frantic when she is unable to get in touch with her daughter, Rose, who, as an eighteen-year-old, is a legal adult rather than a missing child in the eyes of the law. Jeannie’s desperate attempts to get the police to believe her child is in trouble lead her closer and closer to the New Year’s Doe and to an evil even Sam Kovac and Nikki Liska may be unable to stop.

The 1st Victim was an extremely engaging and well written short story. I didn’t realize this until after I read it but there are several books already released featuring these two homicide detectives and this particular short was written as a precursor to Tami Hoag’s latest book in their series The 9th Girl. The 1st Victim is where we are introduced to the serial killer that they have nick named Doc Holiday who brutally kills young women and dumps them along roads.

Now I went though a phase of reading murder mysteries but I haven’t picked one up in many years. This particular story really wet my appetite for more. The detectives Kovak and Liska are an excellent team. They have strong believable character voices that fit right in with how I’d imagine detectives would be. I liked how emotionally involved I felt with all of the characters and the fact that I saw how sympathetic and driven these detectives were and it was believable. They seemed jaded in some respects of course but still determined to do their jobs.

The 1st Victim was the perfect quick fix that I needed and it delivered everything I thought it would and more. I’m already aching to see how things unfold with Kovak, Liska and the Doc Holiday killer.

The 1st Victim

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• This advanced reader copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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